NBA Pick: New Orleans Hornets, Detroit Pistons ‘under’ 196

Monday, February 11, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

The Pistons put up a lot of points the last two games, but those were both vs. teams that play up tempo. The Hornets are a plodding team and neither of these clubs averages a lot of points.

Look for a lower scoring game than the total would indicate on Monday night when the New Orleans Hornets (17-34, 28-23 away) pay a visit to the Detroit Pistons (20-32, 25-27 home) at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, MI at 7:35 ET.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 196 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -107.

On the surface, it would appear that the Pistons have rediscovered their offense in the past two games, back-to-back wins where Detroit upset the San Antonio Spurs 119-109 at home and then went on the road to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-100.

However, before getting too excited, consider that those last two opponents both play at fast tempos, with the Bucks ranking third in the NBA in pace rating at 97.3 possessions per game and the Spurs ranking seventh at 96.4. Tonight, Detroit is facing a Hornets team that ranks second to last with a pace rating of 91.1 possessions with only the Brooklyn Nets playing slower (90.6).

Thus, look for a more “normal” scoring output by the Pistons here where they may have trouble reaching there overall 19th ranked average of 95.4 points per game, not unlike when they scored only 90 points three games ago vs. the aforementioned Nets, who play a very similar style as New Orleans.

The Pistons are not a team accustomed to stringing together 100-point games as they have been inconstant offensively all season, In fact, while we are not big on team-specific trends, it is still interesting that the ‘under’ is 7-1-1 in Detroit’s last nine games after scoring at least 100 points in its previous game, as that helps highlight the Pistons’ inconsistency on offense.

Detroit is not a bad defensive team though, as despite ranking 14th in points against at 97.0 points per game, the Pistons are eighth in field goal percentage allowed at 44.1 percent and fourth in three-point defense at 34.0 percent. Furthermore, Detroit allows only 95.1 points per game at home.

The Hornets are ranked just 25th in the NBA in scoring with 93.8 points per game, and New Orleans has reached 100 points only once in the last six games. Furthermore, in the five games where the Hornets fell short of the century mark during this time, they fell well short while averaging 93.0 points.

It has not helped that overall number one draft pick Anthony Davis is suddenly in a slump, averaging 6.0 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting a poor 37.5 percent from the field in his last three games. He is coming off of a career low two points on 1-for-6 shooting in a 102-89 loss north of the border in Toronto on Sunday.

Furthermore, the Hornets had been showing some improvement since Eric Gordon retuned from his ACL injury, but New Orleans has been nursing him along by sitting him in the second of back-to-back games. If that pattern holds, expect Gordon to be inactive tonight after a nondescript performance Sunday where he had six points and four assists in nearly 29 minutes.

These clubs have yet to meet this season but the Pistons won an ugly 89-87 game the last time they met last year and look for another ‘under’ on Monday.

NBA Pick: Hornets, Pistons ‘under’ 196 (-107)

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